The Lance Method for Calculating Osmolality

1. Measure the temperature in the room
2. Measure atmospheric pressure
3. Call your mother and ask her if her arthritis is
bothering her if the atmospheric pressure is less
than that in Nome
4. Boil an egg until hard-boiled
5. Eat the egg
6. Measure the freezing point of the water you boiled
the egg in 10 minutes after measuring that of your
7. Subtract this value from that of your sample
if your mother’s arthritis is acting up and Nome is
in a high pressure trough
8. Ignore 7 if your mother is pain free
9. Divide the atmospheric pressure corrected for your
mother’s arthritis by 760 corrected for the
corrected temperature divided by 0 minus the
difference between the temperature in Dallas
subtracted from that in Mineralwater divided into
the observed osmolality provided that the
corrected osmolality is more than 300.  If less
than 300 add 300 and use that number.
10. Take this number and add 500
11. Plot this number on the graph of expected results
12. Use if less than 2 standard deviations from the mean
13. If more than two standard deviations, repeat the

Reading the card filled Grollman with a sense of awe and wonder.  Maybe he was on his way the becoming a scientist.  After two hours of messing with the micro-osmometer, which was what the wooden box was called by the cognoscenti, he wondered whether theoretical science might be more fitting to his talents.  The catch was that there were lots of problems getting the contraption to work.  First, you had to take the very tiny tube holding the fluid you were going to freeze in a very tiny forceps which you stuck in the machine using the blunt instrument that is the hand.  Looking through the microscope you tried to locate the tube and place it in the receptacle which was supposed to keep it  in the scope’s field of view.  Since everything was magnified the micro-tube jumped around like a drunken flea fed speed.  Every time Grollman’s heart beat the tube bucked out of sight.  Then there was the crystal formation problem.  One second there was no crystal; an instant later all the fluid in the micropipette froze and shattered the minute glass filament.  On average it took Grollman an hour to get one of the tubes in view.  He decided to modify the process and use the temperature he observed when the pipette broke.  The “break temp” he dubbed it feeling that this name would enhance the scientific value of his observation.